When Charvanek emerged from her quarters, Pring was no where in sight. She looked both ways then headed in the direction that she had come. There were an assortment of doors throughout the hall. There were windows that exposed the outside making a beautiful light because they were not just typical windows. She had a bathing suit over her left forearm. She could feel there were eyes watching her. She could see figures of people who were thousands of light years away busy on their own life. She closed her eyes,reminding herself, they are not here. She repeated the thought over and over in her mind. It was frightening for Charvanek seeing people who were obviously not there but well alive.
She opened her eyes to see the empty hall.
"You are alone, there is no one here, you are stronger than your paranoia." Charvanek said, turning in the direction that Sulu had been. "You are stronger than your hallucinations."
For a few months this phrase had worked and sent the hallucinations away but this time it had only brought her comfort rather than peace. The internal peace was brought by the atmosphere of the planet. There were some open windows letting the air in. She turned away from the door closing her eyes walking in the direction the turbo lift was. She had that to look forward to. The turbo lift that lead to the lower floor. She opened her eyes. It didn't matter that she was completely alone. It did not matter that she was a comforting scenery. It did not matter that the environment of this planet made her guard fall down. She came to a pause feeling her mind racing.
"At ease." It was Pring, again, taking her by the arm. "My apologies." Charvanek opened her eyes to see the much older Vulcan staring back at her with a apologetic look in her eyes. "I was distracted briefly by Spock Junior."
"Spock Junior?" Charvanek asked.
"A Sehlat named after the ambassador." Pring said, patting the arm of the Romulan.
"Just long have you known the Ambassador?" Charvanek said.
There was the smallest of all smirks appearing on the corners of her mouth.
"Half a century." Pring said. "I was . . . his friend. Close one at that. We don't talk as often as we used to."
"He took you for granted," Charvanek said. "You had a fight and most reasonably,you have been avoiding him."
"Indeed." Pring said. "You are not the only new resident."
"Who might the others be?" Charvanek asked.
"Recently retired director of Sweet Hill Nursing home, Christine Chapel," Pring said. "And current oldest Aurian resident Sydney Gauc'chie." Charvanek's gray eyebrow rose up. "That Sydney." She shook her head as the pair went passed several doors. "I still cannot believe the one who went past Klingon lines for her brother made it here."
"Compared to Nyota Uhura. . ." Charvanek said. "She is more legendary. Have you met her?"
"No." Pring said. "Not really."
"Perhaps we can introduce ourselves to her." Charvanek said. ". . . I forgot to mention, in my prime, I used to call myself Chion Charvanek."
"That is a beautiful and rare name to go by." Pring acknowledged.
"Indeed," Charvanek said. "Do you go by any other name?"
"Not as many as you." Pring said.
"That is one of hundreds of names I went by," Charvanek said. "I was the subject of several frame operations and went into hiding more than once. I was the weirdness magnet for thirty-three years and it abruptly ended."
"How do you know it ended?" Pring asked, with a raised eyebrow.
"I traded a bird of prey for a different life," Charvanek said. "A life that you would not want to know about."
"Understood," Pring said. "We all have skeletons in our closets."
The two walked into the turbo lift. Pring made the request, "Floor 1." The turbo lift rolled down. She turned her head in the direction of the Vulcan when she thought something looked off about her. Not that important at second glance because she looked fine. Now that she noticed, Charvanek noticed that she was not in high heels but in flats. She was in a gorgeous navy blue dress that had a neck collar, had long sleeves that covered her fingers, and had bands of light gray on the waist-line in the shape of claw marks. The dress itself appeared to be a unique version of the meditation robe for women. She had seen this robe on a briefly known stranger she had come across by the name T'Bell. They shared the same connecting quarters briefly for one week. T'Bell was a eccentric Vulcan, besides that, listening to loud music when writing what she claimed was a movie script and a novelization of it at the same time. She had the music on repeat until Charvanek left. She had read the novelization and was wildly impressed hearing a Vulcan speaking of much illogical things. Babbling about a closet that lead to a new world fueled by pure imagination. It was brilliant, and well executed. When T'Bell meditated and slept, that was the only time the music stopped. But that week was etched in her memory. It was like it happened yesterday.
The turbo lift doors opened before Spock. Spock raised the eyebrow up seeing Charvanek's hand outreached and the other behind her back. He tilted his head seeing that there was no one alongside her. Could she be hallucinating? That was the most logical and reasonable solution. She turned her head away from the empty space toward the Ambassador appearing to be embarrassed. Why was she embarrassed? Was her hallucination completely naked or wearing flamboyant attire? The second one would likely be the answer. Charvanek likely was scared if he were real, since very old Romulans were known for hallucinations as they aged and were quite paranoid if anyone was real. The best way to comfort them and not let them feel scared was to be as sympathetic and kind toward them as possible. It was best not to alarm them. Spock lowered his arched eyebrow.
"Greetings, Captain Charvanek." Spock greeted the Romulan.
"Greetings,Ambassador," Charvanek said. "That rank no longer applies to me."
"My apologies," Spock said. "I assumed you would retain the rank of captaincy long after your retirement."
"How do you know of my retirement?" Charvanek asked.
"It is common knowledge," Spock said.
"Not as common." Charvanek said.
"Doctor Leland had several chapters regarding female Romulan Commander who had made captaincy and retired as one in his autobiography," Spock said. "He mentioned that she had a extremely rare name. Although Leland did not refer to her by name in the biography, the character still retained the most defining characteristics that were not shared with every day Romulans. She played the piano in her quarters using Beethoven and Mozart. She had a taste for Vulcan fruit rather than the Romulan kind which was unusual. Chion Charvanek is the extremely rare, but beautiful name. And he treated the Romulan for a illness. Logically, it had to be you." Spock stepped aside. "After you and your companion."
"Have we met before?" Charvanek asked.
"Not in this lifetime." Spock replied, with a small smile.
"Let us go, my friend." Pring said, patting the forearm of Charvanek.
"I do not like it when Vulcans refuse to give answers." Charvanek said, going past Spock but leaving enough room for her newly made acquaintance to be by her side.
Spock went into the turbo lift then made the comment, "Floor 1." He was going to meditate. Meditate what he was going to say at the funeral. The thoughts had come racing back at the end of the movie when ET had died. And then resurrected. Considerably, it had to be short. Because if Spock did a long eulogy then logically he would be a mess of tears and sobs. Which was not logical for him to be in such a state. What did Spock have to say about Jim? Jim was a very dear friend of Spock's. Who Spock cared for, deeply. Spock had terminated their Cherik program a few minutes ago and their Flamingo program. It was the most difficult (and painful) action he had to execute today. The doors closed on Spock as he had a short but sad sigh.