A living island in an arid desert

by Gelen
  Author's note: Lieutenant Gelen is a creation which is part myself, part myself-I-would-be, a character I created at the beginning for a writing role-playing with some friends and developed much. I always dreamed to be a doctor, so she is, and I use her in this little story for Outpost 10F's writing competition... Special thanks to Babel (double for him, he corrects my English) and Aeon, who authorized me to use their pseudos here and are the first persons I met on OTF. Thank you very much, friends, and my greetings to all the persons I met on the chat…

"We're arriving !"
The young bajoran girl who were sitting near the science officer put her blue glance on the bridge's screen and saw the station when she would be assigned now. By the exterior, it was like all starbases she had saw since she went out the Academy, but, but she couldn't know how, she had a good impression about that one. When she was a little girl, during the Cardassian Occupation, the Vedek of the temple near her refugee camp said she had a gift of the Prophets, her intuition.
She had been assigned on that outpost, named Outpost 10F, as an assistant doctor, and the USS Pasadena was bringing her there. As they approached, the science officer said:
"You should go and prepare to board, lieutenant..."
The young girl went out the bridge, and went to her quarters to finish her packing...

Half an hour after, she was transported on the outpost. When she went out the transporter room, the first thing she saw was the outpost was full of people, from all origins, Starfleet and out Starfleet. Seeing one Starfleet officer going near her, she said:
"Excuse me, I'm searching section 4, room 5..."
The lieutenant, a human woman, smiled and said:
"You must be new here, welcome aboard Outpost 10 F, lieutenant..."
The kindness of the woman pleased Gelen, and she replied:
"Yes, I just arrived with the Pasadena, I'm lieutenant Gelen, new assistant doctor..."
The young woman smiled broadly and said:
"Ah, I heard about you. I'm lieutenant-commander Aeon..."
Gelen saluted as she must do in front of a superior, and they shook hands, and Aeon said:
"I'll accompany you to your quarters, you're lucky, I'm just off duty..."
Section 4 wasn't very far, and, when Aeon had let Gelen in front of her quarters, she thought that she would be quite happy here. Posing her bag on the sofa, she went to the bathroom, looked at herself in the mirror, arranged her hair and went out her quarters to report to the infirmary. Once out, she began to wonder where the infirmary was in this enormous station. Trying to be logical, she asked:
"Computer, where is the main infirmary?"
The synthetical voice of the computer answered:
"The main infirmary is located section 6. Have a good day..."

Even the computer on this station was polite, thought the young woman who began to search the section 6. After having done quite all the station's corridor, she found at last the infirmary. Entering in, she came towards a nurse and said:
"I'll like to see doctor Babel, please. I'm the new assistant..."
The nurse smiled and said:
"That's the door at the right, there..."
Gelen just smiled to the nurse, and go to the door. She hit and said:
"Dr Babel ? Could I see you ? I'm your new assistant..."
A voice came from the interior of the room:
"Ah, at last, come in !"
The young Bajoran went in the room, and saw a man sit behind a desk, holding a padd in his right hand. He smiled and said:
"Sit down, please..."
She made so, and he began:
"I suppose you just arrived, I expected you before but that's not important. As you probably already saw, the outpost's very fidgety and there are here many people from many origins. That isn't a really easy posting, and I'll understand if you refuse it..."
Refusing ? The idea didn't even came to her mind. The place was really pleasing her, she really knew she could be useful here. She just said:
"With due respect, sir, I didn't have any idea about refusing the assignment, I asked it..."
Seeing her superior's eyes widen, she continued:
"I didn't want of a secure assignment, in Starfleet's main hospital or on a science ship, I always been curious about the world and the universe around me, see other things, meet new people from all the corners of the universe..."
The doctor was staring at her, listening her to argue about her real motivations. No emotions on his face, he was just listening. After a little time of silence, he said:
"As I can see, you're the right person for this assignment...welcome on Outpost 10 F, lieutenant..."
And he smiled, before saying:
"You're free today, I suggest you settle in your quarters and walk a bit around. Be here tomorrow at 8 AM to take your duty...dismissed! "

The young bajoran just nodded and went out the office, and the infirmary, with a kind gesture to the nurse. Some minutes after, she was wandering in the corridors, trying to put in her mind the map of the Outpost. She met some people, who had a smile for her, thing she had hardly seen in the other stations she passed on. That outpost had really different, and she was quite happy to be there, where nobody was mocking her accent. She spoke Standard since many years ago, she had to learn it when she arrived to Vulcan after fleeing Bajor, but she didn't manage to hide her bajoran accent. Sometimes, some of her colleagues discreetly mocked her but, here, nobody did so.
She was still wandering when she met again lieutenant-commander Aeon. The woman smiled and said:
"Lost again, lieutenant?"
Gelen smiled again and said:
"No, not that time, I was just wandering through, to accustom myself to my new assignment, ma'am..."
Aeon smiled more broadly and said:
"No formalism with me, lieutenant, at least for now. What do you think about our outpost?"
Gelen posed her blue glance on the other woman and said:
"Permission to speak frankly ?"
Aeon just nodded, and Gelen began:
"It's just…ah, it's difficult to put it in words, but I have the feeling that outpost is like a oasis, a living island in an arid desert…"
That phrase was just the emotion she had, never she couldn't find words which were so right to render her true feelings. That outpost was, as she said, an oasis where many people were working, living, sharing interests and meeting each other, and that was more than another.
Aeon had let her speak before saying:
"That's a well said and right feeling, and I do really hope you will like your life here…"
About that, no doubt, thought Gelen, who lightly smiled:
"Thank you very much…"
Aeon smiled herself and, with a nod, said she had now to go. When Gelen was alone again, returning at her quarters, she thought her first feeling was well: she would be very well here.
Entering her quarters, she went to the window and, looking at the stars lightly shining in deep space, felt for the first time for years she was at last home…