Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Location: Estelle's quarters
One of the worst things a thirteen year could be was bored. Jera had just gotten settled into her quarters, they where smaller then her room back on Bajor but she liked it. It, after all, had a window and the stars passing by had a rather soothing effect while trying to sleep. But she wasn't soothed at the moment, she was bored. It was still half an hour until she was supposed to meet her father at the holodeck, so she was more or less slowly making her away down not really paying much attention.
That was until she noticed something, a sound, a rather delightful one. Piano music, she stopped a moment to listen, trying to figure out what the song was. But she slowly figured out that it wasn't a recording, it was someone playing the piano. It didn't have that 'perfect studio' sound. It had little flaws and flourishes in it. Her train of thought was finally broken when she realized she had been walking to the source of the music and was now standing outside of someone's door. Looking around a moment, she eyed the com panel... Her father would at the very least scold her for randomly ringing on someone's quarter doors, but on the other hand her father wasn't there at the moment. So she leaned up to press the page button, the door bell ringing in Lieutenant Hertz's quarters.
The piano music stopped when the bell chimed. Estelle got up from her stool and walked towards the door. "Come in", she called. Her quarters were very much like the standard cabin that officers were provided with aboard starships, since she hadn't had time to personalise the rooms a lot. Besides, they were much bigger than what she was used to from the much smaller ships she had previously served on. Items of personalisation were the concert piano in one corner, with sheet music to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Klavierkonzert Nr. 21, and a large picture on the wall between the replicator and the door, a full size replica of Rembrandt's 'Diana Bathing with her Nymphs with Actaeon and Callisto', a large oil painting. As the doors opened, Estelle found a young Bajoran girl whose face wasn't familiar (no surprise there, she'd met only a few of the crew). "Good afternoon", she greeted.
Jera had stuck her head into the quarters and then the rest of her, she was clearly a teen if not a tall spindly thing. Looking from one side of the quarters to the other before locking onto the piano and then the Lieutenant. "Oh, sorry. I mean hello. I'm Avri Jera." She seamed to have a small awkward pause, like she didn't quite not how to follow that up. "I'm Ambassador Toran's daughter, sorry I didn't mean to just ring and barge in, but that's the first... well live piano music I have heard in six months, It kind of distracted me, the only place I've gotten to practice as of late is on a holodeck, and pianos always have the same tuning on a holodeck." The last one was clearly a complaint, with unmistakable teenage snark full on display.
"You must have excellent hearing", Estelle said. "Please, come in. Have a go, if you like." The surgeon took a step back to make room. "The piano is freshly replicated as of this morning, specifications by Bösendorfer, Imperial Grand. 97 keys instead of the usual 88, for greater range. But it's still all acoustic, no computerised sound generation." It was the full-on luxury version, and in an age of replicators, who would want anything less than that? "I'm Estelle, by the way."
She seemed keenly interested and took the invitation to sit at the piano when it was given. She started to try it out playing quiet enough to still listen as Estelle talked, she showed a respectable amount of skill, maybe not enough to play a more complicated piece at high efficiency but clearly showing a few years of practice. "It even feels a little different than a holodeck piano this size. I've really only ever used smaller ones outside of a holodeck... Oh and very nice to meet you, I didn't actually mean to just knock and barge in, I already introduced myself of course, but you can call me Jera if you would like." She didn't like to make the assumption that people she talked to did or didn't know how Bajorans handled given and family names, but she found just inviting people to use her given name worked better.
"Where'd you learn to play the piano, Jera?" Estelle asked. She figured a Bajoran child, who'd just professed a family connection to a Klingon ambassador, knowing a Terran instrument... there had to be a story behind it. Not that Estelle wasn't fond of mixing and matching different cultures herself.
She started playing Bach's Minuet in G Minor, which was more or less the easiest of Bach's pieces and a quiet song, meaning she could talk over it with no trouble. "From my Uncle in Law, that is to say My father's sister married a Human, Commander Harper Taylor, I stayed with them and their two daughters a few summers at Lya Station Alpha. Here Harper is the commanding officer. I can play a few other instruments.. I'm alright at Klingon guitar and I can play the klavion, though I'm not very good at it." If Estelle knew anything about the Bajoran Klavion, she would know it was a famously hard to play instrument, leading to the joke that no one was good at it.
"They're both fine. But you play klavion and there are only a few styles. Klingon Guitar has one style... The piano? If you're sad you play a sad song, if you're happy you play a happy song." She shifted from Bach to Beethoven's ninth symphony, Ode To Joy, when she mentioned happy music, this showing a good bit more talent than her playing before had, still not up to the level Estelle had been playing but better than amateur playing. "So how long have you been practising?"
Estelle had to think about that for a moment. "Uh, almost thirty years. My mother took me on her lap and we played together when I was three. There's video of that. Horrible music, but I had fun, apparently. I remember learning to read musical notes at four. I was lucky, there was never any pressure, so I never lost the desire. It helps me think, it relaxes me, lets me get creative when I improvise. Plus, anything that improves dexterity is welcome. I'm a surgeon, I need nimble fingers." She stepped up next to her and looked at her fingers during play. "I wasn't as good as you were at your age, though. And aside from the piano, I can only play the lyre, and the lute... well, and the recorder, but that is the single simplest instrument ever."
She seemed to get just a tad visibly melancholy for a second. "My mother was the musically inclined one in my family also. Father likes music but does not play... Actually I'll have to share some Klingon Opera with you some times, I'm told I have a natural vocal talent for it. But I share a few past times with him, riding mainly." She looked like she had suddenly remembered something. And almost on cue a small chirp came off a little clip on her belt. "Oh koss.. I was supposed to be at holodeck two by now." She started to get up when the door rang again and she made a clearly furtive gesture. "Well I think I've been caught Doctor... Have you met THE Ambassador yet?"
"No, I haven't. This should be as good a time as any", Estelle smiled. "By all means, introduce us." She walked back to the door and opened up. On the other side was a Klingon a lot older and bulkier than she had expected. Most Klingons were big, but this one... "Please, come in. Your daughter's already enjoying the subtleties of the Bösendorfer Imperial Grand."
Toran gave the doctor a nod. "Ahh, that makes sense, I knew it was music or an animal that distracted her... And I trust she hasn't been any trouble... Doctor Hertz?" He didn't really seem all the upset with Jera, and she seemed more mortified than anything else. And Toran put an inflection on the last words like he was pretty sure he knew who the Doctor was but didn't want to assume he was right.
"Nothing but. Barged in here, immediately accepted my invitation to play the piano and produced wonderful sounds. Absolutely nothing but trouble", Estelle grinned. She extended her hand to him, and hoped he'd shake it carefully. They were the most important part of her, after all, those hands. "The piano and the painting are always the first things I set up in a new cabin."
He took her hand, holding it by the palm, giving it a rather gentle shake. She might have thought he was going to kiss her hand for a second but didn't. "We're still getting settled in also, but you seemed to have made the place quite cultured." He gave the painting an appreciative look as he also let her hand go. "Replica? Or did you paint it?" He knew it was at the very least a copy of a famous Terran painting, but he also acknowledged it might be a paint copy by the doctor or someone else. "I was a reasonably accomplished sculptor at one point."
The skinny teen moved over to stand besides the Klingon and added half as a rib and half as a complaint. "Before the arthritis, which he wont have checked." It was clearly made in a tone that made it clear it was something Jera complained about quite often.
"Heh, it's too late now. See, as a doctor, now that it's been mentioned to me, I'll have to take a look", Estelle said. "And yes, it's a replica. It's by one of the old masters, the original is on display in a castle in Germany, on Earth. This comes straight out of the replicator. But it doesn't matter to me. It's beautiful, and that's what counts."
He gave a nod and toothy grin. "Ah, I most likely have put off a check up far too long. And as you said the painting is wonderful. I have a weakness for Terran and Bajoran paintings, I think both worlds do better with portraying the lighter, more enjoyable parts of life than Klingons tend to." He gave Jera a look. "Right, holodeck time is wasting, Doctor I hate to greet you and run, Unless you know how to ride a horse or sark and want to join us, that is?"
Estelle shook her head. "No, I've never done anything of the sort." And truth be told, she didn't feel particularly comfortable on the back of an unsteady animal. "You go on. But don't forget to come into sickbay tomorrow, 1700 hours." She looked at Jera. "You'll make sure he'll come, won't you?"
Jera gave her a nod and a wave as the two made their way out. adding a warm sounding, "Thank you again."