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I still don't get why we have to have these extra lessons if there are perfectly good translators to help us get by,” complained P'Jor.

Q'Vel rolled her eyes at that. “Because, you silly, I'd like to see what you would do if they suddenly broke. Either we learn to do without, or we're in big trouble.”

You're right, I guess. But I feel stupid when I turn it off. That's still allowed, isn't it? I mean, even Q'Mar is doing better than me, and she's practically a baby.”

Less talking, more walking,” said P'Lok, urging them forward. “We still have to go get her, and figure out where the lesson is today.” He seemed impatient. “I heard the new teacher is the second officer. We just can't afford to be late.”

Despite himself, P'Jor looked impressed. “How did he even find the time for us?”

We're lucky that he did. It's an opportunity, and I'm going to take it, no questions asked.”

I hate to burst your bubble, but even if you act like the perfect student today, I really doubt it's going to make you look good with the Captain. He'll have more important things to tell him than what we did, especially since we're just going to make fools of ourselves.”

Must you always be so negative?” Even if the boys were friends, Q'Vel sometimes felt that keeping the peace between them was a full-time job.

I'm not being negative, I'm telling it like it is.”

For one thing, you wouldn't make a fool of yourself if you actually practiced, and secondly, I think we're expected to make mistakes. We're learning, that's normal, and if this important person we're supposed to meet doesn't understand that, well, some teacher he is.”

You're right, Mom, as always.” It didn't take him long to realize he had put his foot in his mouth (again): the memories were still fresh for all of them.

An awkward silence descended, and it was up to Q'Vel to break it. “They seem to be getting used to having us around, at least,” she said, looking around at the busy crewmen who passed them by. For all the times their teachers had repeated that the Federation welcomed everyone, they'd gotten their fair share of stares at first. That, they supposed, was inevitable.

I should hope so,” said P'Lok. “I'm getting the hang of that handshake thing and everything, I wouldn't be too happy to know my efforts are one-sided.”

To be fair, his assessment was a bit of an exaggeration: when meeting somebody new, the force of habit would sometimes take over and make him offer the traditional Lorquian greeting, but he was getting quicker to switch to a human handshake when he realized his mistake. Pity. It was so simple to him that it always boggled his mind to see the perplexed faces everyone made when he tried to walk them through it. Human hands were built perfectly for it: having five fingers each, like his own, it was surprisingly easy to match his fingertips to theirs. The real problem came when it was time to decide how long to keep contact before parting: back home, that said a lot about the relationship between two people. Strangers only touched each other for a fleeting moment, friends lingered a bit longer, and if you were more than friends... well, let's just say he still had to explain to that girl exactly why he had blushed violently and withdrawn his hand as if burnt when she messed up spectacularly and actually touched his palm. He knew she didn't mean anything by it, but still, that would have been a pretty bold declaration to make in public on his planet. He'd only ever seen married couples do that in front of everyone.

They're not, believe me. Humans are nice once you get to know them, and I suppose the same goes for the others too, but there aren't many in my class, so I wouldn't know.” Leave it to her to have an easy time making friends in any situation. P'Lok hadn't had his udan th'asulas yet, so he wasn't supposed to be thinking about girls that way (oh, how he'd envied the neighbours' son when he'd come back from his ceremony looking all smug, like he'd been let in on some big secret! He even seemed to stand a little taller, as if he hoped that officially becoming an adult could actually make him shoot up overnight), but he was certainly allowed to notice that there was something about her that you couldn't help but trust. They hadn't known each other well before embarking on the Uquarr, but living in close quarters had made them practically inseparable before he even realized.

Whatever answer he had in mind was momentarily forgotten as they stopped by their fourth member's door.

Here we are,” he said, pressing the button that would make their presence known.

They'd been a little confused at the sight of the Enterprise's panels at first. It wouldn't have been too difficult to learn the mostly unlabeled buttons' functions by size, position and colour, if it weren't for the fact that the last of those distinctions was next to useless to them. However, ringing at somebody's door was easy enough, and so it was that, moments later, a positively bouncing Q'Mar joined them on their way to Lt. Cmdr. Data's quarters.

Hi!” They were used to seeing her grin whenever they went somewhere new, but this time, she was smiling so widely it was a wonder her cheeks didn't hurt.

Well, well, well, someone's happy,” said Q'Vel. “Did you eat a whole jar of icoberry jam all by yourself?”

The little girl shook her head. “No, I'm just glad we're going to see Mr. Data.”

Exactly how well do you know him?” If someone had told P'Lok he would be envious of her someday, he wouldn't have believed them, but life was full of surprises.

We're not best friends or anything, he just comes get me from school sometimes. He's really nice.” Being the youngest, she was the one whose movements were most closely supervised, so, as the others realized, it made sense for her to have had the chance to meet more officers than any of them, Mr. Data included.

So he won't laugh at us if we really mess up, will he?” asked P'Jor. Out of all possible reactions, she had the one he expected the least: she stared as if he'd just said something extremely stupid, which was a particularly unpleasant kind of stare, coming from such a small child.

He can't do that.”

What do you mean?”

Mr. Data never laughs. He tried once, but it sounded just plain weird, like he didn't know how. That's because he's an android. He used a lot of big words I didn't understand to explain that to me, but what I know is that he doesn't really get it when something's funny, even if he's practically as smart as the ship's computer.”

There was silence again as they took in her explanation, then P'Jor blurted out: “If he's like a walking computer, why doesn't he learn our language and use it to teach us? That way, the lessons would be easy, for once.”

Maybe he doesn't have time,” said P'Lok. “We don't know how long it would take him, and with that much brainpower, it would be a huge waste not to keep him busy.”

And besides, who would teach him? You? There was no chance to get anything from the Uquarr, let alone our old schoolbooks. I'd be glad to let him borrow mine, if it made things any easier, but who knows where they are now.”

All right, I get it, I'll just grit my teeth and do it.”

It's not fun for any of us, you know,” said Q'Mar. “I'm happy to see Mr. Data again, but if I think about it, I'm a little scared too. I don't want him to think I'm stupid.”

He won't.” One of Q'Vel's membranes wrapped reassuringly around her shoulders. There were many things to be said about Lorquians, but not that they weren't good at hugging. “He knows we're just beginning. Besides, you finally get to see where he lives. Isn't that exciting?”

And with that, her face-splitting smile accompanied them the rest of the way, so bright it would have put the nearest star to shame.


Q'Mar knew they wouldn't have to wait long: when they rang, Mr. Data showed up at the door in no time flat, calm and collected as ever.

What she had not expected was the thing at his feet.

She stared.

The creature stared back.

What followed was a sound that the halls of the legendary starship Enterprise wouldn't be too quick to forget.

Q'Mar, who had been about to bound into the room before everyone else and get the lesson started (maybe it was just because of Mr. Data, but she actually wanted to, for once), leapt back with a little scream, barely resisting the temptation to grab the nearest membrane, in this case P'Lok's, and hide behind it as if it were a curtain. Miss Kyle was always talking about all sorts of interesting animals from other planets, but it had slipped her mind to mention that.

It had four paws and a tail, that much she could see, but there wasn't time for anything else. It ran off somewhere into the depths of the room with a high-pitched sound of its own, a strange, loud hiss she would never have expected to come out of its mouth, suddenly looking bigger than it had first seemed... or maybe it was just its fur standing on end.

What was that?” she asked in a small voice, completely forgetting that she was at least supposed to say hello first.

That,” he said by way of a greeting, “was Spot. She is an Earth animal called a cat. By your reaction, I assume this is the first time you have seen one.” He paused. “I had not considered this. If I had, I would not have neglected to mention her presence.”

She nodded. “She's not dangerous, is she?” She knew Mr. Data wouldn't keep dangerous animals in his quarters unless he really had to. He was smarter than that. But maybe that was part of his job too; all she knew about it was that it must be very, very difficult, if it needed a brain like his.

No, Spot is fairly harmless, and I do not believe we shall see her again for the duration of our lesson. She is wary of strangers, and very likely to remain hidden as long as you are here. Please, come in.”

As they filed into the room, Q'Mar couldn't resist saying: “You mean Spot was scared of us?”

Essentially, yes. She had never seen a member of your species either.”

What's she doing here?” Better ask all the questions while she could: it would be much harder to do the same on her own, without the translator.

She is my pet. Are Lorquians not in the habit of keeping them?” That certainly explained a lot. Q'Mar would have loved a pet, probably a krilit. Her parents kept saying they'd get her one later, but that ‘later’ hadn't turned into ‘now’, and it never would.

Well, yes, but our pets sure don't look like that.”

I would be interested in knowing what they do look like,” he said, “but for now, you are going to have to tell me without the aid of the universal translator.”

Mr. Data took off his combadge and extended a hand in a silent request for theirs.

Well, that's going to take a while,” grumbled P'Jor, forgetting for a moment that his words probably sounded like a string of nonsense to him.

He was right, but that didn't matter to Q'Mar. For the first time, she promised to herself that she'd be a good girl and do lots and lots of practice. After all, if it meant that she would finally know enough of that pesky Federation Standard to tell Mr. Data about krilit, with their big ears and their fluffy tails and those cute little pouches mothers used to carry their babies, it wasn't so boring anymore.

Close Encounters of the Furry Kind
Hi, everyone!
Aaaaaand I finally introduced the whole bunch. Phew. Progress, progress, progress! Yay! :happybounce:
It has even MORE timid attempts at giving my OCs a language and culture of their own.
I can't give you a literal translation of the name I thought up for the coming-of-age ceremony, as that would give away too much about how it's performed, and it's early for that. Patience, my faithful (?) readers...
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Shamelessly stolen from :iconcuddlesaurus21:, and it won't be the last. These quizzes/interviews are a great help in developing sides of my OCs I hadn't thought about yet. For example, until I had to research it especially for this, I only had a vague idea of what Q'Mar and her friends liked to eat, and now (as usual) she came to life and told me she's a little obsessed with... I'm not telling you, read to find out! At least I'm glad it's not junk food. My little darling has to stay healthy.
(Seriously, though, the Foods and beverages page on Memory Alpha is a godsend if you don't know what to put in your Star Trek OC's glass or plate. Go check it out. Now.)
Oh, and the dolphin now has a name. Huzzah!
Anyway, here goes...

1. What is your name?
Q'Mar. Yes, that's it. I know it's probably a lot shorter than yours, but that's what names sound like on my planet :-)

2. Do you know why you were named that?
Uh... I only know part of the answer. I don't know about "Mar", but the "Q'" is because I'm still a kid. I'll drop it when I'm older. I can't wait! :D

3. Are you single or taken?
*gasps* I'm WAY too young to worry about that! I'm only about one and a half years old, you know. Except that Dr. Crusher says I'm five, which was really weird to hear, because on Lorquis, when you're five, it means you're all grown up and you can drop your kiddie name forever. Our teacher, Miss Kyle, explained to me that a year doesn't last the same everywhere, so now I understand what she meant by that. I can be one and a half and five at the same time if your years are shorter.

4. Have any abilities or powers?
Not really... Oh, wait! You mean like gliding? I'm sorry, that's so normal to me it doesn't really seem like a special power. *stretches out her arms as far as they can go to show off her membranes* See these? I can jump from really high places without getting hurt 'cause of them. It's a little like flying, only not really the same. I can only go a short way at a time.

5. Stop being a Mary-sue!
A what? Is that like a nickname? I don't like nicknames. A person's name is VERY important, you know. Why should you call me something else?

6. What's your eye color?
Uh... *looks down* Dr. Crusher says I can't see colours the same way you do. Last time Miss Kyle told us to draw something, someone had to help me pick out the right colours so that my picture would turn out as good as everyone else's, because I can only see in scales of grey, whatever that means. Anyway, they told me my eyes are brown, if that answers your question, but I don't really care. A lot of your colours look the same to me.

7. How about hair color?
How silly of you! *taps her head frill* We have no hair at all, see? Patterson Supra told me this part of my head makes me look like a tri... tric... triceratops, I think it was. He uses big words. He's smarter than me.

8. Have you any family-members?
*bites her lower lip* I don't have any brothers or sisters, and Mommy and Daddy are both gone. *sniffles*

9. Oh? How about pets?
No. My parents said they would get me one someday, but I guess they won't have the chance now...

10. That's cool, I guess. Now tell me something you don't like.
When they turn the universal translator off and try to teach me to speak their language without it! I have to have even MORE lessons than everyone else, and I can barely understand a word they say to me! It's on right now, by the way, otherwise I really don't think I could have answered all these questions...

11. Do you have any activities/hobbies that you like to do?
I like exploring the Enterprise! It's so much bigger than the ship I was on before! I can't do that as much as I'd like to, though, because there are lots of places where children can't go and my friend P'Lok says the Captain doesn't like us kids. He's usually right, but I don't know if I believe him this time. Why would he let us stay if he didn't like us? I've only seen him once anyway, and he didn't seem that bad, just very, very serious.
Oh, and I like practicing my gliding, too. I can't lose the habit just because I'm far away from home. There aren't many places where I can do that, but they have these big rooms called holodecks that can become anything you want! It's so cool! When they give us permission to use them, we usually just fill them with nice things to climb on and see who can get the farthest in one go, like we did back home. It's our favourite game.

12. Have you ever hurt anyone in any way before?
No! Well, I try not to, anyway.

13. Ever... killed anyone before?
WHAT!? But... but that's a really, really bad thing to do! Why would I want to?

14. What kind of animal are you?
*giggles* I'm not an animal! But if you mean what animal I'd LIKE to be, I guess I'd choose to be a leikil... oh, wait, you don't know what that is. Well, it's kind of like a dolphin. Look! *holds up her plush dolphin* Mr. Data made it for me. I love it and I'll treasure it forever and ever! :heart: I think I'll call it Pikk.

15. Name your worst habits?
Um... I don't practice speaking without the translator enough, and the human with that thing in front of his eyes says he doesn't know how I manage to always turn up in dangerous places. I heard him say I'll end up killing myself one of these days, but I THINK he was just saying that to scare me away from all the important stuff that's in Engineering. *shivers*

16. Do you look up to anyone at all?
Oh, this one's really easy! Mr. Data is my hero. He knows EVERYTHING, and it's really thanks to him, besides Dr. Crusher, that I can walk around the Enterprise and breathe normally. He was the only one who could visit our ship and see what the air was like in there. He talks funny, but he's really smart and kind and he's never annoyed, even when I ask him lots and lots of questions. He explained to me that he's not human like the others, but I'm not human either, so I don't care. We can be different together.

17. Are you Gay, Straight, or Bisexual?
*narrows her eyes* I don't know why, but I get the feeling that that's a grown-up kind of question. Can we get back to it when I'm REALLY five?

18. Do you go to school?
Yes, but school on the Enterprise is so different from what it was like back home! Miss Kyle keeps telling us about planets and creatures I never even knew existed, and I have a lot to catch up on! I just hope the others don't think I'm stupid...

19. Ever wanna marry and have kids one day?
Maybe, but right now I'm too busy getting used to life away from home to even think about that!

20. Do you have fangirls/fanboys?
... What are those?

21. What are you most afraid of?
Losing my respirator, or maybe breaking it. I know what it's like to try to breathe on the Enterprise without it, and it was NOT NICE! At all! I think I nearly passed out, and it was really scary.

22. What do you usually wear?
I'm not as worried about my clothes as you are. Usually, my rule is that if I can glide without taking it off, I like it. It's so much easier than what some human girls do to pick out what to wear.
I have to pay more attention to what I wear on the ship than I did back home, though, because it's a bit colder and I have to remember to put on something warm.

23. What's one food that tempts you?
Counsellor Troi says I've got to try something with chocolate in it sooner or later, but the doctor has to check if it's safe for me to eat first. It sounds yummy, by the way she talks about it.
If you mean one food that I really like, anything that tastes like icoberries. They're not like anything I used to eat back home, but I love them. The doctor was worried I might be allergic, but I'm not, and that's great!

24. Am I annoying you?
Nope! But only if you promise that I get to ask YOU some questions later. Everyone says I do that a lot.

25. Well, it's still not over!
Sure! Ask whatever you want!

26. What class are you? Low class, middle class, high class?
Uh... Mommy and Daddy were neither very rich nor very poor, I guess. But they didn't want me to worry about money just yet, and from what I heard, things work a little differently in this huge thing they call the Federation.

27. How many friends do you have?
Uh... *counts on her fingers* there are P'Lok, Q'Vel and P'Jor, who came from the Uquarr with me, and Patterson from school, who was really nasty to me at first but is a lot better now, and I hope Mr. Data counts, so that's five. Oooh! Five is the very best number there is!

28. What are your thoughts on pie?
I tried it, and it tastes a little weird, like a lot of human foods, but I could get used to it. Especially if there are icoberries in it!

30. Favorite drink?
Icoberry juice! I'm so, so glad it's safe for me. The lady with the strange hats always knows I want some when I go to Ten Forward to look at the stars.
... Yes, I know this is the third answer that has icoberries in it, I can count, you know? I can't help it if I love them!

31. What's your favorite place?
I don't have one yet, because everything is so new, but our extra lessons are more fun when we have them in Mr. Data's quarters. The first time was weird. I'd never seen a cat, and Spot was as scared of me as I was of her! She ran off to hide and I swear her tail was twice its normal size. We're not afraid of each other anymore, but she still won't let me pet her much. She doesn't like anyone besides Mr. Data, I think.
Back home, instead, my favourite place was my treehouse. Lots of kids on my planet have treehouses. Climbing is fun!

32. Are you interested in anyone~?
*snorts with laughter* It'd be quicker to say who I'm NOT interested in! Everyone here is so different!
... Isn't that what you meant? Ooooh, were you talking about the way Mommy and Daddy acted with each other sometimes? Nah, not yet.

34. Would you rather swim in a lake or the ocean?
I LOVED the ocean back home! Floating feels a lot like gliding, except you can stay up a lot longer.

35. What's your type?
Uh... you mean like that time Dr. Crusher took the four of us to Sickbay and said she had to figure out our blood types, or is that another grown-up question?

36. Any fetishes?
Any what? I think the translator's broken...

37. Seme or uke?
Uh-oh, it really is broken. Do you understand what I'm saying, or does it sound like gibberish?

38. Camping or indoors?
PHEW! It got fixed! I understood that one!
Well, I loved spending time outside with Mommy and Daddy, but I don't think I could LIVE out in the open all the time.

39. Are you still wanting the quiz to end?
If it means it's my turn to ask questions, then yes.

40. Well, it's over! Now tag four people!
As in playing tag? Right now? Nah, it's not as much fun when you have to stay on the ground to be fair to everyone else. Gliding tag is so much better.

Aaaaaand that's it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when filling it in! It's been really helpful in developing Q'Mar's tastes and personality.
  • Mood: Satisfied

Data had come to look forward to the times it fell to him to see little Q'Mar to her quarters safely. It was an excellent chance to watch the way children interacted with each other and with their parents, and therefore, like so many other things on the Enterprise, a learning occasion. More than once, he found that the sight of a child running into his or her father's arms at the end of the school day triggered memories of his time with Lal. The first time it had happened, he had run an extra self-diagnostic, ‘just to be on the safe side’, as his human friends would put it. At no point of her much too short existence had she looked that young. Finding no fault, he concluded that the reaction was to be ascribed to more than just visual input.

With the notable exception of Vulcans, who did not approve of public displays of affection, parents of all colours, shapes and sizes showed more or less the same reaction upon spotting their children in the throng—a reaction he wished he could have had himself during his brush with fatherhood. While he did not think himself technically capable of envying the way their faces lit up and their arms stretched out in silent invitation to a hug, it was yet another difference between him and everyone else, and it was... undesirable.

He wondered if Q'Mar missed it at all; when a human officer was assigned the duty of escorting her to and from class without incident, she certainly received a much warmer welcome than he could ever give her. She hadn't yet had any negative responses to his presence, if he was interpreting her cues correctly, but he lacked experience with her age group. How much dissimulation was she capable of at this stage of development, and what lengths would she go to in order to avoid ‘hurting’ him?

Q'Mar's figure in the crowd was quite distinctive, giving off a general impression of alienness that, hadn't the other children been long used to the racial diversity of the Federation, would have added to her difficulties in adapting to shipboard life. Her arrival had at first caused quite a stir among her classmates, as was to be expected whenever somebody new joined their ranks. Such scenes were not uncommon on the Enterprise, particularly when one or more officers transferred with their families in tow, but it was not every day that the newcomer happened to be a little girl with orange skin, membranes spanning like oddly-shaped wings from wrist to ankle, and not a single hair on her body that they could see (although Patterson Supra had been quick to compare her head to that of a triceratops, courtesy of his current fascination with dinosaurs). The fact that, not unlike a Benzite, she had to wear a respirator at all times in order to participate in their activities was not very conducive to a smooth integration, either. It appeared she was beginning to make friends outside her small group, but it was a slow process.

Good morning, Mr. Data.” The universal translator was of great help to her, and if the perceived quality of her speech was any indication, it was online at the moment. Q'Mar and the other young survivors of the alien ship Uquarr, which had been found adrift not long before with four children of varying ages as the only living occupants, were also being taught to speak Federation Standard without it, another task in which Data, not being likely to slip into colloquial forms that would confuse them, had begun to take part when his schedule allowed it. With or without help, however, she was nothing if not polite: it was all too easy to respond in kind.

Good morning, Q'Mar.” The first few times had been awkward: he hadn't known how to keep the conversation going after that, never having had to select an appropriate topic to discuss with such a small child. Observation, as always, had done him a lot of good. “How was your day?”

Fine.”

If someone from Engineering had opened up one of the panels hidden under Data's hair at that point, he would have seen the pattern of the blinking lights underneath pick up a burst of speed as he compared her answer to all previous instances in which he had asked that particular question and found that no, she had never given a one-word response before. That simple inquiry usually elicited an excited summary of everything she had done and learnt during the previous few hours. While she had a lot to catch up on and it would be a long time before she reached anything resembling excellence, she was certainly an enthusiastic student, and it showed.

Further analysis revealed that Q'Mar's tone of voice did not match her meaning: in other words, she did not sound fine at all. As they started in the direction of her quarters, Data found that he had to walk 0.21 metres per second slower than their average to match her speed. Hypothesis: detour to Sickbay required. Verification needed.

Are you all right?”

Yes.” Yet another one-word answer. He could detect a pattern forming, and it was not a good sign.

Would you not like to tell me more about today's activities?” he prompted.

We went to one of the biolabs and Miss Kyle told us about dolphins,” she said. That was closer to her usual behaviour, but in normal circumstances, she would have told him about such an event spontaneously and with a much greater emotional undertone. Data allocated some of his resources to accessing all available information on dolphins, ready to provide, if she so desired, additional facts that her teacher was likely to have overlooked, but still suited to her level. The request never came; instead, Q'Mar lapsed into silence.

He could see no connection between dolphins and her apparent state of distress. Unless the two were linked in some way that was unknown to him, something else must be causing it.

Q'Mar,” he said, “did you find any of your lessons too difficult?”

No, I think I'm catching up.” He thought he heard a hint of pride in that answer.

Did you have a disagreement with one of your classmates, then?”

It's not that, everyone was pretty nice. You're asking a lot of questions today.”

Something appears to be troubling you. I simply wished to find out what it is.”

Oh... nothing, it's stupid. It doesn't matter.”

The flow of the conversation was disrupted as they entered the nearest turbolift. “Deck 14,” he commanded. Then, taking advantage of their momentary privacy: “If it makes you so sad, I can only conclude it cannot be ‘stupid’ to you.”

Q'Mar sighed. “You know, dolphins look a lot like leikil, even if Earth is really far away from Lorquis. For a minute there, I thought...”

Leikil. Definition: unknown. Access linguistic database. No match found. Hypothesis: the word may refer to a creature native to Lorquis V. That was definitely a theory he could work with until she volunteered additional information. Data waited, but when the turbolift doors opened, she had not yet given signs of wanting to finish the sentence. Inference required. Hypothesis: Q'Mar initially mistook dolphins for leikil. This may have triggered memories of life on her home planet. Margin of error: 1.3%.

I believe,” he said, “you are homesick.”

She looked up at him. “Maybe,” she admitted softly. There had been a time when he would have had trouble interpreting that: indirect answers presented him with more difficulties than a clear-cut ‘yes’ or ‘no’. However, his frequent interactions with a variety of humanoids now led him to believe there was a 67% chance at the very least that her response should be read as the former.

He considered his options. He was not, he knew, a figure anyone would typically go to for comfort or advice in personal matters: Counsellor Troi was better suited to the task. He adjusted his plans for the day to make time to mention it to her, with an ample margin of error, as he had insufficient data to predict how long the conversation would take.

As for the immediate response, several reasons factored out a brief detour to the nearest holodeck: first, that the sight of a simulation of her home planet might in fact exacerbate the situation rather than improving it; second, that due to the lack of information on the environment of Lorquis V, it would take far too long to adjust the program until it reached an acceptable level of realism; third, that a ranking officer with no blood relation to Q'Mar spending unscheduled time alone with her might be seen as inappropriate, as his private research on proper behaviour with children had taught him. A staggering majority of the cultures he had so far analyzed abhorred the forming of intimate adult-child relationships, and though the limit varied from planet to planet, Q'Mar, at a biological age roughly equivalent to five Earth years, would not have qualified as mature enough on 98.7% of them. Although Data had no such intentions, he had also learnt not to underestimate the powerful force humans called gossip, especially in the relatively limited cross section of people represented by the residents of a starship.

Having excluded one course of action, he had to decide on another before they were expected to part, so he reviewed a list of behaviours he had seen his shipmates adopt when they sought comfort. Counsellor Troi, for example, often found refuge in chocolate, but was it even compatible with Q'Mar's gastrointestinal tract? He scheduled some time to visit Sickbay and ask Dr. Crusher about it. For Lt. Worf, intense physical exertion in the form of his famed calisthenics program seemed to be the solution to most problems, but apart from the peculiar gliding flight capability she shared with her fellow Lorquians, Q'Mar had not displayed particular athletic prowess, and he was certainly not about to take the initiative to expose her to the potentially frightening appearance of the Klingon's holographic opponents in such a delicate moment, that much was obvious even to him. According to Cmdr. Riker, the answer to the conundrum would have been music, most likely jazz: that, given the availability of a suitable instrument, he could provide, but in the absence of a sample of Lorquian music to compare to his database, he had insufficient information to choose a genre she would appreciate. The Captain's preferred form of entertaiment was instantly dismissed as too complex for her taste, along with his own; perhaps, in time, if she proved interested in human literature as she grew older, he could introduce her to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but an old-fashioned holographic mystery would do nothing to alleviate her present condition. He would have been about to run out of viable options if his list hadn't grown considerably as of late.

Parents and guardians were allowed to observe their children's activities if they so desired, with a pane of transparent aluminum to keep them from interfering if their own considerations on the youngsters' need to socialize freely were not enough, and although he was technically neither, Q'Mar's unique situation, combined with his high rank, resulted in an unspoken stretch of the definition, so he found himself watching them until the very last millisecond his duties allowed. It appeared that the time had come to put his findings into practice.

When the door to her quarters slid open, his plan was fully formed. Of course, there were several precedents indicating that such plans did not always turn out quite the way he had anticipated: more often than not, there were too many variables at play to predict a humanoid's reaction accurately. However, the sequence of actions he had in mind seemed fairly straightforward and the likelihood of a mistake very low.

Normally, he would have made sure she put away her school supplies properly and they would have exchanged their goodbyes; this time, he made a detour to her replicator unit on his way out. Q'Mar seemed perplexed: perhaps she, too, had noticed that once he had established a routine, he only broke it when there was a compelling reason to do so.

What are you doing?” His most basic response to that would have been to answer as truthfully and completely as possible, but he had once seen a similar interaction play out between Crewman Toya Carr and her daughter Alexandra, and found that the strategic withholding of information in such cases ultimately led to greater satisfaction for both parties involved.

It is a surprise.” Then, taking care to keep his voice at such a volume that his request could not be misinterpreted and Q'Mar, according to his best estimate of her hearing, had only a 13% chance of understanding it: “Computer, replicate a plush dolphin suitable for an age range of three to six years old, forty centimeters long.” He positioned himself so that his body would hide most of the unit as it worked.

Compared to a real dolphin, the result was approximate at best, covered in velvety polyester that did not resemble the animal's skin in either texture or colour, since the computer had seen fit to choose a vivid shade of blue not found in any Earth subspecies, living or extinct, but it would do, especially considering that Dr. Crusher's latest assessment of the Lorquians' eyesight had confirmed that their surroundings appeared to be in scales of grey to them.

He picked it up and, mindful of Crewman Carr's unintentional example, approached the child while concealing the toy behind his back. She craned her neck to see what he was hiding, but to no avail. He let her try for 5.73 seconds longer before finally presenting it to her. He was conscious that his gesture had been somewhat more awkward and rigid than his role model's, but that, too, was to be expected. It happened to him at times, when he was not used to the actions he was performing. The movements needed to operate a science station, for example, came much smoother than his attempts to offer Lt. D'Sora the required physical contact when he had ventured into the soon aborted experiment that had been their relationship.

He studied her reaction carefully. Her eyes were wide, but his increasing familiarity with her species's features allowed him to detect the subtle signs that excluded fear as the most probable cause. 0.38 seconds later, his analysis was confirmed by the wide smile that graced her previously subdued face. He was growing accustomed to that smile rather more quickly than anticipated, even in the absence of a specific subroutine to regulate his responses to her. Perhaps another self-diagnostic was in order, or perhaps he should just, as Lt. Cmdr. La Forge would almost certainly express it, ‘go with the flow’.

For me?”

Yes. I believed it would...” he paused and recalled another expression he had recently overheard from Geordi, who was an endless source of additional data on the proper use of human colloquialisms, “‘turn your frown upside down’, so to speak.”

That took care of whatever remaining hesitations Q'Mar might have had. She reached out, grabbed her new toy from his hands and hugged it close to her chest.

I love it! Thank you so much! It's like...,” she appeared to struggle with words for a moment, “it's like having a little piece of home to carry around all the time.”

That reaction was within the expected parameters. What came next, however, Data most definitely did not expect. Q'Mar, plush dolphin and all, threw herself bodily at him and, had he not been considerably heavier than a human of the same size, would have unbalanced him with her unsuspected force. As it always was with demonstrations of affection, it took him 0.47 seconds too long to process that it was not an attack, but qualified, in fact, as a hug.

A Little Piece of Home
Hi, everyone!
After discussing it at length with :iconcuddlesaurus21:, I finally decided to take the great leap of faith and publish the first complete scene involving one of my Star Trek OCs, Q'Mar.

I know the circumstances of her arrival onto the Enterprise-D are probably confusing, but if everything goes according to plan, I'll explain more about her backstory later, possibly in the form of flashbacks.

I've had OCs before, practically in every fandom I've ever been part of, but their stories usually tended to die before they were even truly born. Q'Mar and her friends, for the first time in living memory, are alive and well. I consider that to be progress.

Short but necessary notes: yes, I made up her name and any other weird alien-sounding word you might find. No, I'll never be as good or as thorough as Marc Okrand, even though I'm interested in linguistics. I can only hope my little glimpses into my OCs' native language don't sound too silly.

Miss Kyle is the primary school teacher from the TNG episode New Ground.

The surname "Carr" for Toya and Alexandra is made up, but they exist in canon. For those of you who don't remember, Alexandra was the youngest of the children who were abducted by the Aldeans in When the Bough Breaks.
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Far Beyond the Stars by SweetOphelia4231616
Far Beyond the Stars
Hi everyone!
Breaking news: I am, in fact, capable of producing "serious" art. Maybe. When I feel like it.
As the ideas for Star Meow are not forthcoming, I decided to submit something else just to prove that I'm still alive.

This is what the cover for Incredible Tales SHOULD have looked like if the powers that be in Sisko's vision hadn't been a bunch of racist jerks. The reference is, obviously, to the Deep Space Nine episode Far Beyond the Stars, in which we were treated to nods to the greatest names of science fiction and a good look at our heroes' faces au naturel. (Yes, it's one of my favourites, was it that obvious?)

PS: of course, if all were right with the world, the cover really should say "Kay Eaton" instead of "K.C. Hunter", but I felt I could only solve one problem at a time.
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Shamelessly stolen from :iconcuddlesaurus21:, and it won't be the last. These quizzes/interviews are a great help in developing sides of my OCs I hadn't thought about yet. For example, until I had to research it especially for this, I only had a vague idea of what Q'Mar and her friends liked to eat, and now (as usual) she came to life and told me she's a little obsessed with... I'm not telling you, read to find out! At least I'm glad it's not junk food. My little darling has to stay healthy.
(Seriously, though, the Foods and beverages page on Memory Alpha is a godsend if you don't know what to put in your Star Trek OC's glass or plate. Go check it out. Now.)
Oh, and the dolphin now has a name. Huzzah!
Anyway, here goes...

1. What is your name?
Q'Mar. Yes, that's it. I know it's probably a lot shorter than yours, but that's what names sound like on my planet :-)

2. Do you know why you were named that?
Uh... I only know part of the answer. I don't know about "Mar", but the "Q'" is because I'm still a kid. I'll drop it when I'm older. I can't wait! :D

3. Are you single or taken?
*gasps* I'm WAY too young to worry about that! I'm only about one and a half years old, you know. Except that Dr. Crusher says I'm five, which was really weird to hear, because on Lorquis, when you're five, it means you're all grown up and you can drop your kiddie name forever. Our teacher, Miss Kyle, explained to me that a year doesn't last the same everywhere, so now I understand what she meant by that. I can be one and a half and five at the same time if your years are shorter.

4. Have any abilities or powers?
Not really... Oh, wait! You mean like gliding? I'm sorry, that's so normal to me it doesn't really seem like a special power. *stretches out her arms as far as they can go to show off her membranes* See these? I can jump from really high places without getting hurt 'cause of them. It's a little like flying, only not really the same. I can only go a short way at a time.

5. Stop being a Mary-sue!
A what? Is that like a nickname? I don't like nicknames. A person's name is VERY important, you know. Why should you call me something else?

6. What's your eye color?
Uh... *looks down* Dr. Crusher says I can't see colours the same way you do. Last time Miss Kyle told us to draw something, someone had to help me pick out the right colours so that my picture would turn out as good as everyone else's, because I can only see in scales of grey, whatever that means. Anyway, they told me my eyes are brown, if that answers your question, but I don't really care. A lot of your colours look the same to me.

7. How about hair color?
How silly of you! *taps her head frill* We have no hair at all, see? Patterson Supra told me this part of my head makes me look like a tri... tric... triceratops, I think it was. He uses big words. He's smarter than me.

8. Have you any family-members?
*bites her lower lip* I don't have any brothers or sisters, and Mommy and Daddy are both gone. *sniffles*

9. Oh? How about pets?
No. My parents said they would get me one someday, but I guess they won't have the chance now...

10. That's cool, I guess. Now tell me something you don't like.
When they turn the universal translator off and try to teach me to speak their language without it! I have to have even MORE lessons than everyone else, and I can barely understand a word they say to me! It's on right now, by the way, otherwise I really don't think I could have answered all these questions...

11. Do you have any activities/hobbies that you like to do?
I like exploring the Enterprise! It's so much bigger than the ship I was on before! I can't do that as much as I'd like to, though, because there are lots of places where children can't go and my friend P'Lok says the Captain doesn't like us kids. He's usually right, but I don't know if I believe him this time. Why would he let us stay if he didn't like us? I've only seen him once anyway, and he didn't seem that bad, just very, very serious.
Oh, and I like practicing my gliding, too. I can't lose the habit just because I'm far away from home. There aren't many places where I can do that, but they have these big rooms called holodecks that can become anything you want! It's so cool! When they give us permission to use them, we usually just fill them with nice things to climb on and see who can get the farthest in one go, like we did back home. It's our favourite game.

12. Have you ever hurt anyone in any way before?
No! Well, I try not to, anyway.

13. Ever... killed anyone before?
WHAT!? But... but that's a really, really bad thing to do! Why would I want to?

14. What kind of animal are you?
*giggles* I'm not an animal! But if you mean what animal I'd LIKE to be, I guess I'd choose to be a leikil... oh, wait, you don't know what that is. Well, it's kind of like a dolphin. Look! *holds up her plush dolphin* Mr. Data made it for me. I love it and I'll treasure it forever and ever! :heart: I think I'll call it Pikk.

15. Name your worst habits?
Um... I don't practice speaking without the translator enough, and the human with that thing in front of his eyes says he doesn't know how I manage to always turn up in dangerous places. I heard him say I'll end up killing myself one of these days, but I THINK he was just saying that to scare me away from all the important stuff that's in Engineering. *shivers*

16. Do you look up to anyone at all?
Oh, this one's really easy! Mr. Data is my hero. He knows EVERYTHING, and it's really thanks to him, besides Dr. Crusher, that I can walk around the Enterprise and breathe normally. He was the only one who could visit our ship and see what the air was like in there. He talks funny, but he's really smart and kind and he's never annoyed, even when I ask him lots and lots of questions. He explained to me that he's not human like the others, but I'm not human either, so I don't care. We can be different together.

17. Are you Gay, Straight, or Bisexual?
*narrows her eyes* I don't know why, but I get the feeling that that's a grown-up kind of question. Can we get back to it when I'm REALLY five?

18. Do you go to school?
Yes, but school on the Enterprise is so different from what it was like back home! Miss Kyle keeps telling us about planets and creatures I never even knew existed, and I have a lot to catch up on! I just hope the others don't think I'm stupid...

19. Ever wanna marry and have kids one day?
Maybe, but right now I'm too busy getting used to life away from home to even think about that!

20. Do you have fangirls/fanboys?
... What are those?

21. What are you most afraid of?
Losing my respirator, or maybe breaking it. I know what it's like to try to breathe on the Enterprise without it, and it was NOT NICE! At all! I think I nearly passed out, and it was really scary.

22. What do you usually wear?
I'm not as worried about my clothes as you are. Usually, my rule is that if I can glide without taking it off, I like it. It's so much easier than what some human girls do to pick out what to wear.
I have to pay more attention to what I wear on the ship than I did back home, though, because it's a bit colder and I have to remember to put on something warm.

23. What's one food that tempts you?
Counsellor Troi says I've got to try something with chocolate in it sooner or later, but the doctor has to check if it's safe for me to eat first. It sounds yummy, by the way she talks about it.
If you mean one food that I really like, anything that tastes like icoberries. They're not like anything I used to eat back home, but I love them. The doctor was worried I might be allergic, but I'm not, and that's great!

24. Am I annoying you?
Nope! But only if you promise that I get to ask YOU some questions later. Everyone says I do that a lot.

25. Well, it's still not over!
Sure! Ask whatever you want!

26. What class are you? Low class, middle class, high class?
Uh... Mommy and Daddy were neither very rich nor very poor, I guess. But they didn't want me to worry about money just yet, and from what I heard, things work a little differently in this huge thing they call the Federation.

27. How many friends do you have?
Uh... *counts on her fingers* there are P'Lok, Q'Vel and P'Jor, who came from the Uquarr with me, and Patterson from school, who was really nasty to me at first but is a lot better now, and I hope Mr. Data counts, so that's five. Oooh! Five is the very best number there is!

28. What are your thoughts on pie?
I tried it, and it tastes a little weird, like a lot of human foods, but I could get used to it. Especially if there are icoberries in it!

30. Favorite drink?
Icoberry juice! I'm so, so glad it's safe for me. The lady with the strange hats always knows I want some when I go to Ten Forward to look at the stars.
... Yes, I know this is the third answer that has icoberries in it, I can count, you know? I can't help it if I love them!

31. What's your favorite place?
I don't have one yet, because everything is so new, but our extra lessons are more fun when we have them in Mr. Data's quarters. The first time was weird. I'd never seen a cat, and Spot was as scared of me as I was of her! She ran off to hide and I swear her tail was twice its normal size. We're not afraid of each other anymore, but she still won't let me pet her much. She doesn't like anyone besides Mr. Data, I think.
Back home, instead, my favourite place was my treehouse. Lots of kids on my planet have treehouses. Climbing is fun!

32. Are you interested in anyone~?
*snorts with laughter* It'd be quicker to say who I'm NOT interested in! Everyone here is so different!
... Isn't that what you meant? Ooooh, were you talking about the way Mommy and Daddy acted with each other sometimes? Nah, not yet.

34. Would you rather swim in a lake or the ocean?
I LOVED the ocean back home! Floating feels a lot like gliding, except you can stay up a lot longer.

35. What's your type?
Uh... you mean like that time Dr. Crusher took the four of us to Sickbay and said she had to figure out our blood types, or is that another grown-up question?

36. Any fetishes?
Any what? I think the translator's broken...

37. Seme or uke?
Uh-oh, it really is broken. Do you understand what I'm saying, or does it sound like gibberish?

38. Camping or indoors?
PHEW! It got fixed! I understood that one!
Well, I loved spending time outside with Mommy and Daddy, but I don't think I could LIVE out in the open all the time.

39. Are you still wanting the quiz to end?
If it means it's my turn to ask questions, then yes.

40. Well, it's over! Now tag four people!
As in playing tag? Right now? Nah, it's not as much fun when you have to stay on the ground to be fair to everyone else. Gliding tag is so much better.

Aaaaaand that's it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when filling it in! It's been really helpful in developing Q'Mar's tastes and personality.
  • Mood: Satisfied

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SweetOphelia4231616
Martina
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Italy
Current Residence: Italy
Favourite genre of music: Celtic/folk all the way, but hey, I watch MTV too.
Favourite cartoon character: I noticed that Shinichi Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile reminds me of a friend of mine.
Personal Quote: I am weird and proud of it!
Interests

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:iconreinde-er:
REINDE-ER Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Happy Birthday, ~SweetOphelia4231616 Have a fantastic day.
:party:
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:iconsweetophelia4231616:
SweetOphelia4231616 Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! :D
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:iconreinde-er:
REINDE-ER Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Student General Artist
:D
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:iconrikanekohypno:
RikaNekoHypno Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ho visto un tuo commento in una storia di :iconswirlyeyeshypnotize: e dico solo: YAY! Un'altra italiana a cui piace l'ipnosi!

*fugge via ridendo in maniera malvagia*
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:iconsweetophelia4231616:
SweetOphelia4231616 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Non ti aspettare chiss che cosa, una passione che va molto a periodi. Posso non pensare ad altro per un pezzo e poi dimenticarmene per mesi di fila, a seconda dell'umore e di quanto tempo ho per fantasticare. Ossia poco.
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:iconrikanekohypno:
RikaNekoHypno Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Capisco...io son divisa tra ipnosi, Megamind e i MLP (S, sono una pegasister!), e poi fare cosplay ecc...XD

Anche se la mia passione per l'ipnosi la sto tenendo segreta, infatti questo il mio secondo account su DA...
Io per fortuna ho parecchio tempo per fantasticare...:D
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:iconswirlyeyeshypnotize:
SwirlyEyesHypnotize Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Happy birthday!
A gift from me to you!
Happy Happy birthday!
Skipping kangaroos, YAY!
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:iconsweetophelia4231616:
SweetOphelia4231616 Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconswirlyeyeshypnotize:
SwirlyEyesHypnotize Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You betcha! 8D
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:iconswirlyeyeshypnotize:
SwirlyEyesHypnotize Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for watching me!
Have a HypnoLollipop!

:iconhypnotizeplz:
:iconlollipopstickplz:
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